top of page

What is a Telomere & What is its function?

Telomeres, the specific DNA-protein structures found at the ends of both chromosome, protect from degradation, repair, and fusion. Telomeres play an important role in preserving information on our genome.

Each time a cell divides and replicates, the DNA at the end of the telomeres shorten. Since cell division happens throughout life, telomeres get shorter as we age. When the telomere runs out, the cell becomes inactive or dies, which leads to disease. Telomeres get shorter each time a cell copies itself, but the important DNA stays intact. Eventually, telomeres get too short to do their job, causing our cells to age and stop functioning properly. Therefore, telomeres act as the aging clock inside every cell.